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FaZe Clan Partners with DoorDash, PUBG Earns Record High Revenue In Q1, and More!

EWD: News for Week of 5/9/22-5/15/22

Topics: Partnerships, FaZe, Liverpool F.C., PUBG, NRG


Partnerships


FaZe Clan x DoorDash


FaZe Clan has partnered with food delivery service DoorDash as the team’s official on-demand delivery platform. The partnership includes both content and marketing initiatives, with the brand integrated across all of FaZe's content and social media channels.


The partnership includes at least one announced activation with some FaZe Clan influencers in a livestreamed content series called “DashDays.” Via Twitch, FaZe Clan members will provide opportunities to their fans by giving away DoorDash codes, FaZe Clan merchandise, among other things. extending out of the digital space, this partnership will also include live events that "fuel the synergy between gaming, food, and more."


David Bornoff, DoorDash’s Head of Brand Marketing, said this in the press release:

We are thrilled to be the official on-demand delivery platform of FaZe Clan and support gamers as the one-stop shop for everything they need to seamlessly support their gaming rituals and eliminate down time so they can focus on the games they love. We look forward to working together as we leverage our platform to uniquely engage and build lasting connections with the gaming community.

Kimball's Take:

  • This is a kind of partnership where you say, "How did FaZe not have a food delivery service partner already?" However, I don't know of much teams at all that have partnered with DoorDash. From my research, only Knicks Gaming in the NBA 2K League did and the League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO) have partnered with DoorDash in the past. I guarantee that the "Official on-demand delivery partner" sponsorship designation will eventually exist across a majority of esports orgs in the coming years.


Team Vitality x Samsung


French esports organization Team Vitality has partnered with Samsung as the team's official TV partner. The partnership will see the team's players using Samsung's "industry-leading TV technology" across esports titles, including Rocket League, FIFA and Fortnite. Additionally, behind-the-scenes gaming experiences involving the 2 entities will occur to engage with their respective communities, per the press release announcement.


Across the 2022 Samsung Neo QLED range, Team Vitality selected to use the QN90B model, featuring a refreshment rate of 144 Hz designed for optimal experience to console gamers. Both the 43’’ and 50’’ will be promoted as Team Vitality's official TV.


Guillaume Rault, Vice President Consumer Electronics Division, Samsung Electronics France, said this in the press release:

Samsung’s commitment is to offer the best possible TV experience, regardless of the type of content viewed by the consumer. Gaming is definitively not at rest, when you consider 49% of French gamers also play on TV.

Kimball's Take:

  • I have 2 takeaways from this. 1st, I'm curious as to why Team Vitality decided to strictly focus on TVs across Samsung's wide-ranging portfolio of products. The 2nd point, about 3 weeks ago Team Vitality extended their partnership with Philips as the "exclusive monitor partner." I wonder if this raised eyebrows for Samsung or even Philips as to having both tech manufacturers as partners. Obviously they ended up fulfilling technically different sponsorship categories, but the clutter of sponsors in a very similar category could certainly be an issue for the 2 brands.

Giants Gaming x Sony Music


Spanish esports organization Giants Gaming announced a partnership with record label Sony Music Spain as an official partner. As part of the deal, both entities will collaborate on a range of activations, including content and fan events. The record label's logo will be integrated across all of Giants social channels and content.


Sony Music Spain and Giants will also provide experiences including exclusive interviews and special streams. To launch the partnership, Giants and Sony Music Spain have collaborated on an advertisement starring the organization’s players and streamers. To date, this is Sony Music Spain’s first foray into esports. Giant Gaming currently has competitive rosters within Riot Games’ VALORANT, League of Legends titles, as well as in the fighting gaming community (FGC).


Kimball's Take:

  • Quite an interesting partnership here. It's very cool to see a record label partner with an esports organization. We've seen G2 Esports start their own music vertical to their business. We've also seen Warner Music partner with the LEC. In my opinion, music and gaming go hand-in-hand. Your gaming experience elevates to another level when you have some tunes to listen to. I'm curious to see how else they plan to activate this partnership.


Liverpool F.C. x Rival


Fan engagement and tournament platform Rival partnered with English football club behemoth Liverpool F.C. to help launch LFC Gaming. This new community in the Rival website/app will offer fans opportunities over several game titles, including EA Sports’ FIFA to play tournaments and such. One can l0ok at LFC here to register for game tournaments and other events.


The idea behind the communities within the Rival service is to help sports teams and other organizations connect with their fans better. According to Esports Observer by SBJ, Rival now has more than 35 partnerships for fan community and engagement platforms. Further, this partnership marks its seventh with an English football organization. Rival’s portfolio of traditional sports sponsors out west includes the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the NHL's Florida Panthers, and the NBA's Detroit Pistons.

Kimball's Take:

  • I've never heard of Rival up until now. The idea of it sounds great, and I'm sure many more traditional sports entities will join in on creating communities on the site. For those who are still not familiar with Rival, the lore to it for sport franchises is this to my understanding: By allowing fans to play tournaments and such via the Rival platform, they can earn points, prizes, and much more. This in turn would help ___ team tap into a key target demographic of potential new fans via engagements and have a presence in the competitive gaming space. It's essentially a hub, or community, for traditional sports entities to garner gamers with their branding attached to it.


Other News


Faceit Partners with Crypto Fintech Platform Cake DeFi


Esports tournament platform FACEIT announced a multi-million dollar partnership with Singaporean cryptocurrency fintech platform Cake DeFi. As part of the deal, Cake DeFi will offer players on Faceit more than half a million dollars in prizes, paid in cryptocurrency. Cake Defi will attempt to win over the FACEIT user base of 25 million in a few ways provided below.


First, the partnership will incorporate Cake DeFi Missions, involving in-game missions and monthly challenges for players to win crypto prizes. Second, they will also have Cake DeFi Weekly Tournaments which will run throughout the year globally. Lastly, players will be able to earn even greater rewards on the crypto they win when they sign up to Cake DeFi and all crypto prizes are redeemable through Cake DeFi accounts.


According to its own statement (from the Esports Observer by SBJ), Cake DeFi manages over $1 billion in customer assets while having paid out $230 million in customer rewards in 2021 with plans to increase that number to more than $400 million this year. This collaboration marks Cake DeFi’s first move into esports, and it was facilitated by former Golden State Warriors executive Ben Shapiro’s sports marketing firm, Pivot Agency.


Kimball's Take:

  • Yet again, I've never heard of Cake DeFi up until now. For those who don't know, this platform essentially focuses on creating decentralized finance (DeFi) services like liquidity mining, staking and lending, which generates cryptocurrency returns for users. Looking strictly at this deal, it appears this cryptocurrency platform is launching a sponsorship strategy that will generate a higher market share in its user base. By giving away prizes through unique challenges and tournaments, while also giving rewards for those who sign up, you're significantly bolstering that user base of a gamer demographic that is already curious of what the crypto space has to offer.


PUBG Publisher Krafton reports $405.7M in revenue


Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) publisher Krafton, Inc. reported a record high $405.7 million USD in its Q1 2022 report. According to the Esports Observer by SBJ, this amount is up 17.8% quarter-over-quarter and up 13.5% year-over-year. The overall revenue led to a net profit of $190.2 million.


According to Krafton and SBJ, the Q1 spike was due largely from reduced operating costs and the removal of one-off costs incurred from stock compensation in 2021. Additionally, PUBG's change to a free-to-play game in January 2022 saw a return of players to the game. The amount of monthly active users nearly tripled in comparison to Q4 2021.


Kimball's Take:

  • This is great news for the PUBG franchise. I heard their mobile game is fairly fun, but I didn't know the game itself is seeing lots of craze. According to SBJ's Kevin Hitt, as of January, PUBG was still the third most popular game on Valve Corporation’s Steam video game platform.


NRG New Monthly Insights Newsletter


Esports organization NRG launched a new monthly research newsletter focusing on the gamer’s take on a range of hot topics. The inaugural newsletter looked at ‘Crypto, Metaverse, & The Gamer.' Here's some conclusions NRG provided in the LinkedIn post:

  • 3 out of 4 gamers own cryptocurrencies, while only 1 out of every 4 own NFTs

  • Gamers rank “lack of trust” and “utility” as the top reasons for not buying NFTs

  • Gamers believe VR experiences represent the metaverse at this time

  • 3 out of 4 gamers cannot describe Web3 to a friend, though 71% want to learn more

If you want to check out the infographics for yourself, click here. Below I'll provide more details of their findings.


In NRG's efforts to focus on gamers attitudes towards cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and the metaverse, they said a glaring issue in gamer hesitancy towards it is a lack of education. Looking strictly at Crypto and NFTs, 52% of gamers say there is a a place in gaming for NFTs. Surprisingly, environmental concerns ranked 5th behind trustworthiness, utility or value, high cost, and need crypto to buy among reasons why gamers haven't purchased an NFT. Additionally, 68% of gamers considered themselves eco-conscious.


In regard to the metaverse and web3, 70% of gamers are currently gaming or would like to game in the metaverse. However, 1 stark stat was that 3 out of 5 gamers do not consider Fortnite, Roblox, or Minecraft as part of the metaverse. The majority identify VR as their entry point. In their web3 infographic, they mentioned that gamers are twice as likely to be familiar with web3 terms such as "decentralized web", "dApps", and "gas fees" vs. the general population.

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